This review is months overdo, but it had to be written. I'll try to keep this brief & to the point.
Background: My husband & I were celebrating our Wedding Anniversary on this cruise. As a surprise, we sent my parents on their 1st SS cruise a few years ago and they're hooked! They urged us to sail Silversea. So glad they did! They joined us on this cruise (their 3d) and celebrated our Anniversary with us!
We arrived in Barbados on a rainy day. Silversea provided transport from the Terminal (effortless). Once we gave the shuttle driver our bags, we didn't see them again until we arrived in our stateroom after check-in. Embarkation: no line, no wait, no hassle! Staff met us at the gangway with umbrellas in hand. We enjoyed a 'Welcome' glass of champagne while we checked in.
Our stateroom (V5, 730, mid-ship veranda) was absolutely beautiful! Marble bath with tub & shower (with glass shower door, NOT a shower curtain!). Bulgari & Ferragamo toiletries. Very comfy bed (we were happy with the standard pillows, although a pillow menu is available). The veranda was our favorite spot to relax. Large enough to enjoy coffee & breakfast each morning. Our cabin adjoined my parents' cabin. The wall separating our verandas has a door that can be opened so we were able to sip cocktails together on our verandas!
Our butler, Christley Gladson, was absolutely wonderful! He was so attentive, pleasant and worked very hard to cater to our every whim! He treated us like family! Adesh, our room steward, kept our room immaculately clean and did so quickly. As quickly as he came into the stateroom, he was gone! In fact, the entire crew (with the exception of one or two) went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home. It should be noted, that the crew are not and do not deserve to be treated like personal servants. They are hard working people, working hard to provide outstanding service to all on board. And they're doing so as a means to provide for their families. They deserve to be treated with dignity & respect. They have names; learn them & use them! Talk to them. Get to know them. And if the urge to be an demanding elitist starts to creep in, think of the Golden Rule: would we want to be treated in that manner?
The ship itself is beautiful. Classy. We felt like we were on our own private yacht. The lounges were comfortable. The bartenders made great cocktails (the vodka tasting was lots of fun!) We thought the food was excellent. We really enjoyed Hot Rocks. I was disappointed that we weren't able to get into Le Champagne.
Loved the Spa! I enjoyed three different spa services on 'Sea Days'. We used the gym. It was small but the equipment we typically use was there.
We enjoyed a private shore excursion in Dominica. Comfortable vehicle, knowledgable tour guide. A very nice day. While in San Juan, we invited friends of ours who live there to join us on board for lunch while we were in Port. Christley set up an en suite cocktail party for us (classy!) and we enjoyed lunch at The Restaurant. Our guests had a great time!
We've read the thoughts of other CC reviewers regarding dress code infractions on the part of other passengers, smoking in non-smoking areas, etc. We didn't notice anyone disregarding the smoking policy. In terms of the dress code, we really couldn't have cared less who wore what when. We were too busy enjoying ourselves to find fault with fellow passengers! We read & understood SS's dress code and packed accordingly. We're not nit-picky people. Some reviewers complained about the quality of the food, this wine or that was unavailable, etc. Really, people? What is NOT to love about this cruise? Yes, the price tag for cruising SS is steep and a certain level of service is expected (and, in this reviewer's opinion, more than met!) Frankly, if certain passenger's standards are THAT high, perhaps they'd do better to consider purchasing their own yacht. Then they can guarantee that their extremely high standards are met to the letter.
We're booked to sail Silver Spirit again in December '13. We can't wait!!